BJP, JD-U finalise seat sharing for Bihar polls

With their relationship on "track" in Bihar now after the row between Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi, BJP and JD-U have finalised seat sharing for the upcoming Assembly elections in the state.

Last Updated: Jun 28, 2010, 14:42 PM IST

New Delhi: With their relationship on
"track" in Bihar now after the row between Nitish Kumar and
Narendra Modi, BJP and JD-U have finalised seat sharing for
the upcoming Assembly elections in the state.

Highly placed sources in NDA said that both parties
have agreed to share the 243 Assembly seats there as per the
formulae of the last election in October 2005 under which JD-U
had contested 139 seats and BJP 102.

BJP and JD-U had fielded independent candidates on the
remaining two seats. The decision on these two seats could be
taken after the election dates are announced, the sources
said.

The seat sharing deal was sealed after JD-U chief and
NDA convenor Sharad Yadav held talks with BJP president Nitin
Gadkari.

The seat sharing has been finalised by the NDA even
before the election dates are to be announced.

Sources in JD-U said that it was deemed necessary to
clear misunderstandings that have cropped between the two
parties after the controversy in Bihar on June 12.

The relationships between the two parties had soured
after the appearance of posters of Gujarat Chief Minister
Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar shaking
hands together and newspaper advertisements lauding Modi`s aid
to Bihar for Kosi flood victims.

Soon after, an angry Bihar Chief Minister had
cancelled the dinner being hosted by him for BJP leaders and
even returned the Rs 5 crore aid given by Gujarat.

This had led to speculation that JD-U will break off
its ties from BJP like Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janta Dal had
done in Orissa.

There was also a feeling in BJP that JD-U`s outburst
was aimed at forcing the saffron party to agree for a lesser
number of seats. "JD-U, however, has given the assurance that
it was not the case," the sources said.

Though there is no hitch on the number of seats each
party would contest, there could be changes in the profile of
seats held by each party as the demography of a large number
of seats has undergone a sea change in the state after the
delimitation exercise was carried out last year.

Asked about the chances of BJP and JD-U contesting the
elections separately in Bihar, a senior leader from the
alliance said this was "impractical" and the situation in
Bihar is different from that of Orissa.

A top leader in BJP said both the alliance partners
will fight the Bihar elections jointly and the seat sharing
formulae accepted in October 2005 will be followed this time
also.

Sharad Yadav had earlier said that the relationship
between the two parties "is on track" and the sad incident of
June 12 "has passed now".

PTI